Jane Simpson (born 1965) trained at Chelsea School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools, London.
In 1994 she was included in the seminal exhibition Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away, curated by Damien Hirst, at the Serpentine Gallery, London; she was also selected to take part in the controversial Sensation exhibition of 1997. Her work is held in many public and private collections including the Saatchi Collection, the Arts Council of England, the British Council and the Colección Ciudad de Pamplona.
Recent solo shows include Tableau at CAC Malaga, 2004; Somewhere (between freezing and melting) there lies passion, Galería Javier López, Madrid and Sandra Gering Gallery, New York, 2004; A Three Way Conversation with Myself, New Art Centre, Roche Court, Wiltshire, 2005; Still Still Life, Javier Lopez Gallery, Madrid, 2006 and Jane Simpson, Gering & López Gallery, New York, 2008. Recent group shows include Valencia Biennale, 2005; kissingcousins, curated by Jane Simpson and Sarah Staton, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 2007 and Weather Report (Art and Climate Change), Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno Canary Islands, 2007.
Gravity and Disgrace is a group show curated by Rachel Howard which brings together the artist’s own work with that of Jane Simpson and Amelia Newton Whitelaw. Inspired by the Hayward Gallery’s 1993 exhibition Gravity & Grace: The Changing Condition of Sculpture, 1965 – 1975, the exhibition considers how select artists today continue to explore unconventional materiality through painting and sculpture.
February 14, 2011Jane Simpson - A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
Solo exhibition of recent work including sculpture, drawing & photographs
KEEP ME POSTED is a group show, directed and curated by Julia Royse, that launches a temporary exhibition space in a former post office in East London entitled POSTED.
POSTED will present a series of art exhibitions, performances, screenings and workshops celebrating the ‘post’ and exploring and examining our postal history and heritage.
The exhibitions at POSTED will hopefully inspire people to put pen to paper again as well as reminding us of a time when communication was more personal and less generic.
Artists participating in KEEP ME POSTED include Andreas Blank, Claire Brewster, Jo Broughton, Natasha Chambers, Oliver Clegg, Julie Cockburn, Adam Dix, Itai Doron, Sean Dower, Tracey Emin, Angus Fairhurst, Vanessa Fristedt, Tom Gidley, Cate Halpin, Susie Hamilton, Georgie Hopton, Rachel Howard, Duncan MacAskill, Harland Miller, Polly Morgan, Benjamin Newton, Molly Palmer, Julia Riddiough, Jane Simpson, James White and Miyo Yoshida.
For more information and for images of the show, visit our blog.
Louisa Buck on Jane Simpson
‘Cultured, elegant, meticulous and greatly influenced by the work of artists like Morandi and Hepworth, Jane Simpson has created her own profound, authentic style, whose expressive force lies in the life she infuses into each of the objects she creates. These are everyday objects in which the viewer recognises and intuits his or her own experience. Through relics modelled using such unconventional materials as silicone or ice, Simpson composes a discourse which speaks of memory, the past and nostalgia.’
Fernando Francés, Director of CAC Malaga, 2004
Jane Simpson began using refrigeration while still at the Royal Academy Schools, in London. She was working with foodstuffs and in order to preserve them, she explored ways to freeze specific elements but discovered that she was more interested in the refrigeration process in its own right. Since then she has frozen - and melted - chandeliers, stair rails, sewing machines, pieces of furniture and a wide variety of objects arranged across shelves, plinths and tabletops. In each instance the process is meticulously tailored to suit the individual piece. In ‘Ice Table’ (1996) an assortment of everyday things - knives, forks, glasses, a bunch of keys and an aluminium takeaway carton - become coated in a blanket of ice which builds up across the metal topped table to create both an exquisite study in silver and white as well as a meal held in frozen limbo, reminiscent of the dust- clogged, petrified wedding breakfast of Dickens’ jilted Miss Haversham.
Her embracing of the multifarious qualities of ice stems from her profound engagement with materials. She has always immersed herself in the practicalities of process and the physical nature of whatever that she is using, even when, as an art student in the late 80’s, this placed her, somewhat out of kilter with the prevailing preoccupation with a more hands-off, conceptual approach to art production. She frequently casts in silicone rubber, where the attributes of rubber are thoroughly investigated to rich and often subversive effect. The behaviour and appearance of this highly evocative material directly informs such pieces as Butter Dish, Buttery Knife, 2002, in which the material is used to almost mimic the substance the dish would contain. ‘Hat and Coat Stands’ (1999) casts a row of six hooks originally intended for firemen, in white rubber so flaccid that the hooks cannot support themselves and are forced to dangle ineffectually in abjectly-drooping detumescence; while ‘When Two or More are Gathered’ (1998) crowds a mass of rubber sauceboats on top of a plinth where they jostle and sometimes wobble with a tension that is almost palpable. In fact, the anthropormorphism of Simpson’s sculptures causes them to strike up complex conversations not only with their audience but also with each other. Her objects and vessels droop, group, pose and cluster with an almost exaggerated gregariousness. Generators gently hum, handles shrug, spouts pout and apertures gape. These pots, vases, jugs and cups strike conversational poses and assume animated attitudes like the participants in a tableau vivant they may be motionless but they can never be completely inert.
Flat Footstool and Tender
Jane Simpson, Flat Footstool (Home Entertainment), 2001
Ice Table, 1996, wood, aluminium, steel, glass, chrome, refrigeration unit, copper pieces, 76 x 109 x 61 cm
The Younger Generation, 2004, silicone rubber, glass and lacquered wood, 30 x 81 x 5 cm
Still Life with lost Marbles, 2005, wood, lacquer, nylon, brass, glass marbles, silicone rubber, 56 x 41 x 33 cm
Still Life - Copper Warrior in Velvety Surround, 2005, wood, glass, crystal, sand, copper, brass, cement fondue, polyester lacquer, nylon, 221 x 175 x 127 cm
Somewhere (between freezing and melting) there lies passion I, 2006, ice sculpture, 201 x 401 x 180 cm
The Ladies Who Lunch, 2008, wood, lacquer, silicone rubber, 46 x 61 x 30 cm